It’s a sad reality that not all couples and individuals who desperately want to become parents readily conceive and are able to carry a baby to term. In fact, one out of every eight couples experiences fertility problems.
Fortunately, assisted reproductive technology (ART) has broadened the options of many infertile couples with cutting-edge technologies that can make childless couples’ dreams come true.
But, how do you find the fertility clinic that is the best fit for you?
Start With a Referral
If you are consulting with a fertility clinic, you already have an established history of not being able to conceive and/or carry your baby to term. Your best source for a referral is your OB/GYN because they can steer you in the right direction. A urologist or even your primary care physician might also have some suggestions.
A doctor’s referral doesn’t, of course, guarantee that your experience will be pleasant. But doctors don’t tend to recommend colleagues to their patients if those colleagues have a bad reputation.
What Causes Your Infertility Problems?
Your infertility problem might not even lie with you but with your male partner whose sperm count is too low to impregnate you naturally. That is a markedly different problem than if it were your uterus that could not carry a baby to term.
Having a good understanding of the problems you face getting pregnant will determine the steps you take to fix them. Some fertility clinics may have higher success rates with some procedures than with others, so this is also something to factor in your decision.
Do You Meet the Clinic’s Qualifications?
Different clinics have different qualifications for the patients they accept. Some focus on patients who are diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (POS). Others have cut-offs for maternal age and weight. Knowing the qualifications of various fertility clinics can narrow your options.
What Is the Fertility Clinic’s Success Rate?
You can find out the success rate of any fertility clinic by going online to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or the website for the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Both will give you an idea of how many birth successes each fertility clinic has in a given year.
But don’t stop there. Check out any potential doctor at the clinics you’re considering to review their reputation status. Healthgrades allows you to monitor patient satisfaction rates as well as your doctor’s board certification status and educational background.
Is the Fertility Clinic Convenient?
While this shouldn’t be the deciding factor alone, remember that you will likely be making frequent visits — often early in the morning. If the clinic is a two-hour ride one-way, that may be too inconvenient for hectic schedules.
What Is Your “Gut” Reaction?
After all of the other boxes have been checked, don’t neglect to run a quick “gut check” after touring the facility and meeting the doctor and staff at the fertility clinic. That impossible to define, yet unable to ignore the feeling that something is just a bit “off” is important.
Few things in life are as personal as the relationship you will share with your fertility doctor. You want to be free to share your fears, doubts, and observations with this person at every juncture during your infertility treatment process.
That depends on your having a healthy and welcoming relationship with your fertility doctor and their staff. If you feel coldness or lack of connection or professionalism, continue your quest.
The Price Tag, or the Elephant in the Room
There is no way to put a price tag on the value of parenthood for infertile couples. But it is important to be realistic about the amount you can afford to sink into fertility treatments. The cheapest option is rarely going to be the best, but you can’t automatically assume that the highest-priced fertility clinic should be your de-facto option.
Being realistic about your fiscal situation and financial obligations is not just prudent but vital when dealing with your ART options. Even if your health insurance policy covers fertility treatments — more of a rarity than a given on most health insurance policies — there will be co-pays. Lots of out-of-pocket expenses will crop up, from travel costs to the fertility clinic to days missed from work. You need to be realistic about your limitations as well as your commitment.
Some prospective parents elect to finance their fertility treatments, either through an in-house financing option with the fertility clinic or through their own lender. Investigate all possibilities that are open to you regarding funding.
Your Infertility Quest Can End Here
We fully support couples who are trying to conceive. Whether you are seeking genetic counseling, IVF, donor, and surrogacy information, or egg freezing, we at New Hope Fertility Long Island welcomes you and will answer all questions.